Enclosed, Open Plan or Cubicle Offices – Which is Best?

It’s fair to say that most offices you come across throughout your time will fall into three main categories. Those being: cubicles, open plan and traditional. Now, there’s always lots of healthy debate about which is most effective at creating a positive working environment. It isn’t likely that anyone is going to settle the argument soon, because each office style has its own set of pros and cons.

Also, it mustn’t be forgotten that some office spaces will ‘fit’ a certain type of business better than others. A police headquarters should not look the same as a creative design agency. So without further ado, adding all this into the equation, here are the ups and the downs of each office space. You be the judge as to which one wins out.

The Curious Case of the Cubicle

Let’s be honest, office cubicles don’t have the finest reputation in the world. Usually depicted as the ultimate example of stripping back workers to nameless, faceless drones, the cubicle isn’t all as bad as the movies make out. Yes, they are compact, flimsy and have as much personality as a tin of magnolia paint – but they do serve a purpose.

In fact, they are the ‘bridging’ option between the two extremes of open plan and enclosed traditional offices. They allow for a sense of privacy and also an air of easy collaboration too. You can sit down and feel as though you are partitioned off, or you can stand up and stick your neck round to your nearest colleague for a chat.

Cubicles, because of their fairly open nature, don’t allow for workers to dawdle and nod off. This makes them good for productivity and keeps them on their toes. Lastly, the humble cubicle is very space efficient. Is it the design their biggest downfall, or their greatest triumph? There are opinions on either side of the fence.

Some people can’t bear cubicles though. It has to be said. Not only are they noisy, but they are isolated too. So in other words, you aren’t getting the benefits of open plan or enclosed. The single worst aspect of a cubicle is the space though. If cramped is your thing, then you’ll be in heaven – but for everyone else, you’ll have to be a feng shui master just to work out where to put your cup of coffee.

An Open Future?

So onto open plan, or the modern office revolution as many would have it: a place where people float from wavy desk to wavy desk, smiling and sharing and sipping creative juices. Does open plan really present a 21st century office utopia though? Let’s look at the pros and cons.

On the plus side, they are a great way of interacting with others, creating those chance social encounters that could make a difference. Conversations and problems are more likely to be shared and solved. Networking is made easier. If anything, open plan puts an end to feeling like a troll in a cave with no friends.

Looking at the negatives, though, the open plan philosophy begins to become unstitched somewhat. Noise is an issue – a big issue! Try sitting at a desk in the middle of a busy city market and concentrating. Difficult, right? Well, open plan offices can be like this. People talking across desks, getting up, walking over, sharing collaborating blah, blah, blah. All well and good, but how does this help you actually get down and work? The answer is, it makes it pretty hard.

Open plan offices are usually seen as having a fun and vibrant atmosphere, but at what cost? Distractions are rife and focus can be lacking. The open plan office is a fabulous, flawed concept that is perfect for integrating new employees and learning the latest football scores. 

Back to the Old School: Traditional Offices

Last but not least, is the traditional enclosed office. Since the days of ancient commanders planning their invasions, the private office has been a solid, dependable option.

Privacy is key here. Shutting a door promotes quiet. Quiet promotes focus and focus promotes work. Yes, it can be an isolated existence, but you can always get out your chair and walk out the door. Saving that, there’s a telephone or email for communications. The element of fun is drained away with enclosed offices, but fun is overrated when it comes to driving success. There’s always lunch breaks to socialise, anyway. 

Our conclusion on the best Office type 

In terms of having the most well-rounded solution, having a combination of open plan and enclosed is the way to go. By combining the positive elements of each, you’ll have the core attributes to make a successful use of your layout.   

Send Business Centre offers a huge variety of quality offices, all with internet connections and top of the range equipment included. For the best office experience, look into hiring through Send Business Centre.

About George Hamburger

I am the Marketing Manager of Send Business Centre which is a family run business. I'm in charge of Letting Offices and in addition to this I research and add Blog Posts for our tenants and prospective tenants information.

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